Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bulgur-Red Lentil Soup

This is the first of what I hope to be many posts that feature one of our weekly meals. My hope is that by highlighting one of the week's meals, you'll get a better glance into our home kitchen.

Up first is a Bulgur-Red Lentil Soup from Maria Speck's book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. I found the book on Amazon after finally deciding to by this book. I've been wanting to incorporate more whole grains into our diet, but needed a book that would get me started with some delicious recipes. Maria Speck's book has fit the bill.

I gave the book an initial pass through and found myself stopping repeatedly to ooohh and ahhh over the recipes. Not only are the recipes enticing, but the photos that accompany some of them are down right sinful.

After an initial glance, I cleaned the drool from my mouth and set out to bookmark a couple of recipes to try out soon. The Bulgur-Red Lentil Soup was the first one that I decided to test.

The recipe is simple and straightforward. A one pot meal that is sure to satisfy. In fact the recipe description states that, "you will be rewarded with chunky, supple spoonfuls..."

Supple spoonfuls, yes please.

While the bulgur and lentils make this soup chunkier than a traditional soup, they add a nice heft that makes it a filling meal with a simple salad. 

Bulgur-Lentil Soup
from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 14oz. can roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup coarse bulgur
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups of water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon (about half a lemon)

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Once oil is shimmering add the butter. Watch the butter carefully so it doesn't burn. Once the butter has completely melted add the onion and cook until soft and slightly browned. (Tip: add a pinch of salt to the onions to draw out the water. This will help the onions to brown better)

Once the onions have softened add the garlic, paprika and cayenne. Stir constantly for about a minute, then add the tomato paste. Cook for an additional minute.

Add the can of roasted tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Once the tomatoes have come to a simmer, continue cooking for about 5 minutes.

Add the bulgur, lentils, broth, water and salt and bring to a boil. Once the soup has come to a boil check to see if it needs any additional salt and then reduce heat to low and cover the pot so that soup simmers.

You should simmer the soup for at least 25 minutes, but the recipe suggests 40 minutes ideally.

Once done, add the lemon juice and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve and enjoy your hearty lentil soup!

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